Ravensbourne School, Bromley on an early sunny Sunday morning was the venue for the first round tie in the Tandridge Challenge Cup. The U13's Tandridge team were up against Junior Bromleians who currently prop up the league above. Still struggling for numbers the eleven available players took the field confident that their passing and pace would serve them well and so it proved.
They had a couple of chances in the opening minutes and Bromley were coming at them but James Turner in his first game of the season showed great skill and composure in repelling their attacks. Sevenoaks certainly looked dangerous and were getting balls through their defence quite readily.
However, it wasn’t until the 20th minute that they took the lead. An incisive run and cross by Marcus was only slowed by the Bromley goalkeeper. It slipped from his grasp and Joe Ryder was on hand to tap in from six inches.
Sevenoaks began to exert their influence and were passing the ball well. The centre back pairing of Aaron Donald and Joe Ashton were coping with anything that came their way and defence was rapidly turned into attack. Carelessness cost them a few chances as they kept being caught offside to the frustration of the coaches.
A minute before the interval the lead was doubled. Kai Okulaja broke down the right and cut into the box slipping the ball through to Freddie Watkins. He in turn played it to Ryder, who laid it back to Riley Moore who scooped it over the goalkeeper’s despairing reach with both he and the ball ending up in the back of the net.
An early third goal was demanded from the team to secure the match at the start of the second half and they started well. James Turner now playing further forward was heavily involved, his pace causing problems for the opposing defenders. However, it was Bromley who had the ball in the net, but ruled offside.
For the next 15 minutes Sevenoaks put themselves under the cosh. They struggled to control the ball and were careless in possession. They seemed determined to let their hosts into the match and it. Finally, they got it together again and a third goal swiftly followed. Another determined run by Kai then a pass to Riley, it then moved to Joe Ryder and a good finish by James put Sevenoaks in firm control.
It was all Sevenoaks for the final 15 minutes. Sharp through balls were being fed through to the forwards. Marcus Overd being a regular recipient. He made a number of bursts through the defence and often the shot was a little tired after his long runs.
The fourth goal was an individual effort from Kai, he was definitely in one of his “I want a goal” moods. The Bromley players could just not get the ball off him and on one occasion his dribbles got him through their back line and one on one with the goalkeeper he wasn’t going to miss.
Before long it was 5-0. Marcus ran again at the defence and let fly with a much firmer shot. Again the goalkeeper couldn’t hold it and there was Joe Ryder on the spot to prod it over the line. He almost made it a hat trick of follow up goals a few minutes later.
So 5-0 was the final score and a very convincing result for the team.